And what a strong line-up it is from, as always, the best new emerging UK jazz artists (Rosie Frater-Taylor, Romarna Campbell, Marcus Joseph) to actual living jazz legends (Billy Cobham, Fred Wesley & The New J.B’s). Learn more below and browse our full line-up here.
Opening Weekender: mjf@First Street
Our free opening weekender celebrates the breadth and individuality of our home-grown scene: bands from, or with a strong connection to, the north. It’s also about shining the spotlight on artists who’ve journeyed through some of our talent development programmes in recent years.
As well as some of the north’s leading artists gracing our Main Stage (Ni Maxine, Wizards of Twiddly, Yemi Bolatiwa) on Friday and Saturday, you can check out some of the Greater Manchester 18-25s bands from our Soundcheck and hothouse artist development programmes on the Garden Stage (Nasa Parka, Moby Dickless, Rory A Green). Accomplished performers in more intimate settings adorn the Home Stage (Moore & Fairhall, Good Habits) throughout each day.
On Sunday we partner with Jazz North to celebrate 10 years of the northernline touring support scheme: on the Main Stage, we’ll showcase five acts selected by industry bigwigs to be elected onto the 2023 artist roster.
Matt & Phred’s
Matt & Phred’s at Manchester Jazz Festival 2023 shines the spotlight on bands and musicians who showcase styles of jazz from different parts of the world (Henry Botham’s New Orleans Piano Gumbo, Baiana); whilst staying true to our ethos of supporting and championing local and independent musicians (The Chanteuse, Cuba Vida Salsa Band). Clarinettist Arun Ghosh makes a welcome homecoming appearance to round off our opening weekender, and we end the week in true M&P’s style, with a massive brass party.
St Ann’s Church
A firm favourite venue for mjf regulars, at St Ann’s, we welcome a selection of the UK’s most respected and cherished established players in intimate acoustic performances (Freight Train, Robert Mitchell, Stan Sulzmann & Nikki Iles) that bring you close to the music. Artistry, expertise and virtuosity, set in an oasis of calm in the bustling city centre.
Closing weekend at Band on the Wall
The very best in energetic, contemporary UK and international jazz talent (Mica Millar, Julie Campiche, Buena Vista Social Club’s Eliades Ochoa) – from legends to fast-rising names to watch, many on their Manchester debuts, and all in a classic club setting.
We can’t wait to welcome you!